The supply chain is under pressure to be faster, more efficient, more transparent, and more secure. The role technology plays in easing these pressures and navigating pain points is rapidly evolving.

From air waybills and bills of lading, to manifests and cargo loads, purchase orders, invoices and more, many parties in the logistics supply chain find themselves managing high volumes of disparate, non-digitized data every day.

The standardization of electronic documentation is an essential step towards the seamless transfer of data across the supply chain. It will help logistics companies accelerate their digitization efforts and better navigate the considerable disruptions that have affected the industry over the last few years.

Digitalizing the Bill of Lading 

FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, has launched a new paperless Bill of Lading (eFBL), enabling their members to go digital, bringing added security and trust to their partners.

At CargoWise, we were proud to take part in a seven month pilot with FIATA and nineteen other freight forwarders, to test the technical implementation of the eFBL data model and API. After the success of the pilot, CargoWise customers can now send a FIATA eFBL directly from a shipment, enabling them to:

Save time and money: Send electronic documents within seconds and pay up to 3 times* less than with paper processing.

Optimize processes: Issue paperless FBLs directly from CargoWise and avoid double data entry.

Minimize fraud and forgery: Allow stakeholders at any time to verify the validity of the eFBL, your identity as well as the document content integrity.

Progress towards sustainability: Embrace a greener solution, which helps save paper and unnecessary courier services.

How does the eFBL work?

The new solution increases the level of security of the FIATA BL by authenticating the documents and providing an audit trail. With each document recorded on an immutable ledger, the eFBL can be accessed at any time by all involved parties. To access the document’s audit trail, stakeholders can either scan the QR code at the top right of the document, or directly upload the PDF on FIATA’s verification.

International trade documents are sometimes susceptible to fraud and forgery. The FIATA eFBL’s new document audit trail is particularly powerful, helping users to certify the:

Validity of the document: Easily review the date and time when the document was registered by FIATA.

Identity of its issuer: In addition to the company name, address and business registration number, stakeholders can also see the National Association membership of the issuing company and a confirmation that, at the time of the document registration, the issuing company fulfilled all conditions as specified in the terms and conditions of the FBL.

Integrity of its content: A screenshot of the document (as the time it was registered by FIATA) is accessible to all stakeholders who can verify the integrity of the document they have received and ensure it hasn’t been modified.

What you need to start issuing FIATA eFBLs

If you are a FIATA/National Association member, getting started is easy. Simply:

Get your FIATA Digital Identity: Contact FIATA to get your Digital Passport, which certifies that you are a valid FIATA/National Association member holding valid liability insurance. This will be used to ensure your organization fulfills all requirements to issue paperless FBLs – bringing trust to your partners who will be able to verify the identity of your company.

Enable the electronic FIATA connection on CargoWise: Once you’ve got a Digital Passport from FIATA, simply raise a CR9 eRequest to have the new connection set-up in your system.

Digital initiatives like the eFBL are essential in improving the way information flows in global supply chains, increasing shipment speed, security and transparency.

Contact us today to learn more about the cost of relying on paper-based processes, and how technology can help your business make the move to a more automated, paperless and productive environment.

*Whitepaper: Digital Container Shipping Association takes on eBL standardization, calls for collaboration  

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